Turkey on Friday rejected the threat of sanctions by the European Union over Ankara’s gas drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean as “unconstructive”.
EU leaders warned early on Friday they could sanction Turkey if it failed to stop what the bloc views as the illegal drilling and energy exploration activities in waters claimed by Cyprus and Greece.
“The continued use of the language of sanctions is unconstructive,” the Turkish foreign ministry said, according to Hurriyet Turkish newspaper.
“The EU must now understand it will get nowhere with such discourse.”
Tensions in the energy-rich eastern Mediterranean have eased since Ankara and Athens agreed to exploratory talks last month.
The NATO neighbors staged rival war games in the disputed waters and ramped up the rhetoric in August, prompting Greece and Cyprus to demand a robust EU response.
The EU summit statement offered Turkey the prospect of closer ties and better trade if Ankara commits to “pursuing dialogue in good faith and abstaining from unilateral actions”.
European Union Council President Charles Michel said early on Friday that the bloc agreed to adopt a two-way strategy towards Turkey and wants to give a chance to constructive political dialogue but warned that all options are on the table if that was not the case.
Speaking at a news conference following the EU leaders’ summit, Michel said the main discussions of the gathering focused on the current situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and EU-Turkey relations along with sanctions on Belarus.
Source: Turkish Media